The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors voted Tuesday to add additional air pollution controls on Units 1 and 4 at TVA’s Shawnee Fossil Plant near Paducah, Ky. The vote came during a specially-called public meeting held via webcast.
Under a 2011 Clean Air Agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, Kentucky, other states and environmental groups, TVA is required to make a decision by Wednesday, to either retire or install additional air pollution controls on Shawnee Units 1 and 4. A third possible option to convert the units to biomass instead of coal had been previously considered and rejected as being economically unfeasible.
After completing an environmental assessment that included public input, TVA determined that either option would have no significant environmental impact and released its final assessment and findings on Dec. 23.
TVA management recommended approval of the additional air pollution controls after analyzing the options from financial, operational and environmental perspectives. The installation of pollution controls at Units 1 and 4 will assist TVA in fulfilling its air quality goals and commitments while also meeting electricity demand and minimizing costs to TVA customers. Shawnee’s relatively small units provide flexibility to the overall power system because they can more easily serve load when demand fluctuates.
Shawnee has nine operating units generating 1,206 megawatts of power. Units 2, 3 and 5-9 are not affected by this decision and already have sufficient controls to meet EPA regulatory clean air standards. The additional controls, which will reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions, will be installed before Dec. 31, 2017, at an estimated cost of $185 million.
In other business, Board Chairman, Joe Ritch, welcomed new members Gina Lodge and Ron Walterwho were sworn in Dec. 23. Ms. Lodge and Mr. Walter replace Barbara Haskew and Bill Sansom, whose terms ended this year. Mr. Ritch also announced the committee assignments for all board members for 2015.